Head coach Andy Pratt says Canterbury’s defeat to Launceston might provide them with a timely reality check in the National 2 South promotion hunt
Head coach Andy Pratt says Canterbury’s defeat to Launceston might provide them with a timely reality check in the National 2 South promotion hunt.
The city club sat second – as high in the national structure as they have ever been – before Saturday’s trip to Cornwall but Pratt says defeat may put a dampener on promotion-talk and help them focus on the run-in.
Fifth-placed Southend, just three points behind third-placed Canterbury, visit Merton Lane on Saturday and Pratt said his side would be looking to avenge a late 34-27 defeat in Essex in September.
He said: “Southend have had the rub on us the last two games and it would be great to get back on course at home against them.
“It’s an opportunity for us to put a bit of space between us and them, as is the game against (seventh-placed) Taunton in two weeks but, of course, it’s also an opportunity for them to close the gap on us.
“The games we have played against these teams already this season have been tight and I’m sure these will be no different.”
Canterbury went-down 18-6 at Launceston on Saturday and Pratt admitted: “The weather wasn’t too bad on the day but the pitch was still wet and heavy.
“It didn’t suit us but they still adapted to it better than we did. It was a poor performance from us. I was disappointed but I guess it was understandable.
“The thing that cost us was we lost discipline in the last 10 minutes of the first half and conceded 13 points.
“You can’t afford to do that in a game which was always going to be as tight as this one. The effort throughout was outstanding, though.”
Pratt added: “If we are going to be competing for things in this league, then we need to be winning games like that but maybe it won’t be all bad. It was the first time we’d been second and maybe now people will stop talking about promotion for a while.
“We’re still third and delighted to be there but there are a lot of big games still to be played. We’ll see what the table looks like in March and April before we start talking about it.”
Centre Ricky Mackintosh will have to have an MRI on a lower leg injury which has been troubling him since the Hartpury game in November and Pratt said: “We’re still light in the backs, although we have Connor Wallace-Sims available to play again this weekend.”
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